A 19th-century chapel in Hackney that was most recently used as a women-only gym is to receive a new lease of life as a theatre.
The building in Stoke Newington will reopen this week as the new home for amateur company Tower Theatre, while its rehearsal and performance spaces will also be available to hire. A former Methodist chapel, it was last used as a gym, which closed in 2014.
Tower Theatre has been producing shows in London since 1932 and provided early stage appearances for actors including Michael Gambon, Sian Phillips, Tom Courtenay and Alfred Molina.
Following a refurbishment project earlier this year, the building will reopen with a 120-seat theatre, and will also include office and social spaces.
A former swimming pool in the building is being converted into a rehearsal room and space for wardrobe and props storage.
The company’s project manager, David Taylor, said: “An amazing amount of work has been carried out by professional builders and volunteers to create a base for one of London’s leading non-professional theatre groups. It has been quite a challenge getting everything to come together but I hope the facilities will be well used and become a real hub for the company and the community.”
While it will be home to Tower Theatre’s 18 annual productions, the rehearsal and performance spaces will be open for rental by professional companies at certain times of year.